Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Shirtdress shortcut

The black and white shirtdress was so successful, I decided to make another one. Time has been short this summer, so I started with a men's shirt from Goodwill and went searching through my supplies for the perfect match for the skirt portion.

I knew that I wanted to use the skirt from Vogue 1916 again. This time, I made the pockets 1" wider and 1.5" deeper to securely hold my cell phone.

I auditioned many skirt fabrics.  This was my second choice.  I had 4.5 yards of my first choice and decided to save it to a dress at a later time.  I was worried that this light-medium denim was too heavy and stiff for this style.

I needn't have worried.  The denim is soft and drapey.  In fact, it was so soft that the waistline stretched out and I had to insert back darts to draw it in.

The denim was purchased cheaply by the pound near LA because it has some minor flaws and fading. I buy most of my fabric (by yardage but not by $) from odd jobbers like that, and cut around flaws. This time, there was no avoiding all the flaws, but they are relatively minor. Also, denim is supposed to develop a patina and this has a head start.

I also used one of my husband's shirts that had been retired after a sad encounter with soy sauce.  The contrast kick pleat flashes nicely when the skirt moves.

The piece left over after I cut the kick pleat insert had a pleasing curved hem.  I rotated it a quarter turn to make a wonky second shirt pocket.  I added the buttonhole, but decided to omit the button in the end.

I used the sleeves of the shirt to line the skirt pockets.  If you look carefully, you can see some stains from droplets of soy sauce.

It's not easy to refashion a dress shirt from long to short sleeves due to the sleeves' taper.  I cut some bias bands to hem the sleeves so that they lay evenly.  I wish I made the bands twice as wide for more visual oomph.  Next time.

I measured the black/white dress bodice length and then added a smidgen when trimming the thrifted shirt. I shouldn't have added the length. It looked so sad. After a date with my seam ripper on Saturday night, I put in two back waist skirt darts, readjusted the shirt pleats, and reattached the two parts. It looks and feels great now.

This is a water post because of the embedded water I reclaimed by using all second hand or irregular fabrics that might have gone to waste.

Read more about the reclaiming the energy/water/value of textiles:


  1. That came out really nice.

    1. Thanks. I'm really happy with it. I wore it already on Monday.


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